Up to 77% of medicine found in West Africa is not as effective as its brand name would suggest; resources from drug trafficking fund terrorist groups and corrupt political elites; elsewhere, workers mine gold under questionable conditions. These different forms of illicit trade represent one source of illicit financial flows (IFF), spanning countries and continents.
To better understand the mechanisms behind this phenomenon, the OECD launched a study titled “Illicit Financial Flows: the Economy of Illicit Trade in West Africa” resulting from Illicit Trade in West Africa in partnership with the Inter-governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), the African Development Bank (ADB), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the World Bank. On their behalf the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime has produced an in-depth report examining 13 types of illicit trade across the region and their implications for IFF, the broader factors facilitating the growth of IFF in the area and examining their impact on governance, development and fragility.
The report will be published in January 2017. In the meantime, I co-authored with Lena Diesing from the OECD, a short policy brief for GIZ.